The Iowa State Fair, one of the largest and oldest state fairs in the country, was first held in 1854 in Fairfield, Iowa. Today, it is held in Des Moines and attracts more than a million visitors each year.

Guthrie County, Iowa, located in the central part of the state, has a rich and interesting history. The area was first inhabited by Native American tribes, notably the Ioway and Sac and Fox Nations, who lived off the land and utilized the rivers for transportation and sustenance. European settlers began arriving in the early 19th century, attracted by the fertile land and opportunities for farming.

The county itself was officially established in 1851 and named after Captain Edwin B. Guthrie, a prominent figure in the early development of the region. The county seat, Guthrie Center, was founded in 1852 and became an important trading center for the surrounding agricultural communities. The first courthouse was built in the same year and played a vital role in the county's administration and justice system.

Guthrie County experienced significant growth in the late 19th century. Railroads were constructed, connecting the county to larger cities like Des Moines and Council Bluffs, which facilitated the transportation of goods and people. The county's agricultural sector thrived, with corn and wheat becoming major crops. Coal mining also became a significant industry, attracting additional settlers to the area.

In the early 20th century, Guthrie County faced challenges such as the Great Depression and the declining coal industry. However, the county managed to diversify its economy and adapt to changing times. Today, Guthrie County maintains its agricultural heritage while also embracing tourism and recreational opportunities, thanks to its beautiful countryside, lakes, and parks. The county's residents take pride in its history and continue to preserve and celebrate the past while looking towards a promising future.

  • Guthrie County is established on January 15, 1851
  • The first settlement in the county, Panora, is founded in 1853
  • Guthrie County's first courthouse is built in 1858
  • The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad reaches the county in 1880
  • The town of Guthrie Center is incorporated in 1881
  • The Lake Panorama dam and reservoir are completed in 1971
  • Guthrie County Historical Village is established in 1979
  • The Guthrie Theater is constructed in Panora in 2008